DAVAO CITY, Nov. 25 (PIA) - A Regional Justice Action Center (RJAC) based in Davao City serving Southern Mindanao clients was re-launched earlier today (Nov. 25).
The RJAC in Davao City is an expansion of the DOJ Action Center (DOJAC) main following the establishment of the first regional action center in Cagayan de Oro City held in March this year.
It is positioned to serve clients from the region's five provinces and cities as well as its neighboring provinces in Southern Mindanao.
" Despite the pandemic, we want to bring our services nearer to the people. While other government offices are addressing the social service concerns, the DOJAC would also like to do the same to address and assist people in seeking justice or on their legal concerns," said Assistant Secretary Atty. Sergio Yap II, in-charge for the DOJ Action Center.
The DOJAC acts on complaints, requests for legal assistance and queries of clients. In 2019, DOJAC served a total of 11,699 clients. As of September 2020, the center has served 8,895 clients from various parts of the country including overseas Filipinos and foreigners
"Magandang tulong ito dito sa Manila so why not strengthen this in the regions. The plan is to open at least 6 action centers this year but because of the pandemic we have only opened Cagayan de Oro and Davao City action center so far. We are hoping to open the Cebu City center by December. Nothing will stop us from expanding DOJAC to the regions. Hopefully we can open more next year", Asec Yap added.
These services are made available in the regions through the National Prosecution Service (NPS) Regional Prosecution Office (RPO) of Region XI.
Regional Prosecutor Atty. Janet Grace Fabrero welcomed the establishment of a separate office to focus mainly in providing these services to the clients especially the marginalized sector often not accommodated by the Public Attorney's Office.
" We expect that with the relaunch of this regional justice action center, we will be getting more clients needing legal assistance. Malaking tulong po sa Regional Prosecution Office na magkaroon ng separate office to handle these services," Atty. Fabrero said.
The latest service that the RJAC is allowed to do is receive complaints or reports on corruption which will be forwarded to the Task Force through the office of the Secretary of Justice.
This is on top of the various types of assistance that the action center provides its clients.
" Maliit o malaking concern, nabibigyan po natin ng assistance. One case that we assisted is an OFW who was confined in a hospital abroad and was almost asked to leave the hospital because of financial concern. With the wife who asked for our help, we were able to immediately refer the case to the Department of Labor which then handled the concern", shared Jo Ann Alcid, Program Director of the DOJ Action Center.
The RJAC also allows filing of reports or complaints through other platforms other than going directly to the center.
Fabrero said complaints or assistance may also be channeled through the Facebook page that the center will soon establish along with the hotline numbers that it will disseminate for the knowledge of more Filipinos.
The center was established on February 28, 1985 as a Public Assistance Center, then renamed the Public Assistance and Complaints Unit on May 3, 1989. It became DOJAC pursuant to Department Order 204 issued on June 22, 1995.
Part of the long-term plans of the DOJAC is an action center on wheels where the office will move around nearer to the communities to assist and serve more people. (PIA XI/Frances Mae Macapagat)